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This season, we’re all about warm beverages that boast health and beauty benefits, in addition to helping us thaw out from the winter cold. One drink category we can’t stop sipping on? Herbal lattes. These nourishing elixirs feature an array of herbs, spices, and other ingredients that help combat winter woes with their potent antioxidant-rich makeup and ability to customize with additional ingredients to pack an even bigger punch.
Up ahead, find out why we’re trading our coffee in for an herbal latte ritual, plus three grounding recipes we can’t get enough of.
Coffee vs. Herbal Tea Latte
If you love your lattes but want something without the caffeine, herbal lattes are a fun way to mix up your hot beverage selection. And, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, making the switch might come with additional benefits. “Coffee can cause anxiety, nervousness, and digestive disruption,” explains Serena Poon, a celebrity chef, nutritionist, and Reiki Master. “While coffee actually causes your body to release a stress hormone, adaptogens [found in herbal lattes and known for their stress-relieving properties] help your body react to stress in a healthy way,” she adds. Additionally, coffee is a diuretic and some herbal lattes support hydration. “Hydration is at the cornerstone of optimal health, so choosing a hydrating beverage is always the best option,” Poon notes.
How to Make a Herbal Latte
At its core, making your own herbal lattes requires either steeped herbs or powdered herbs and milk. The type of milk you choose depends on preference, but Poon says she prefers plant-based milk as cow milk “is notorious for being difficult to digest [and is] an allergen.” Additionally, Poon says that cow milk can cause issues with skin health, too. “When consuming nut milk, the best option is to make your own at home,” she adds, noting the importance of making sure you don’t have a nut allergy before making the switch. “If you need the convenience of pre-packaged non-dairy milk, look for products that are organic, unsweetened, and have a short ingredient list (ideally just nuts and water),” she adds.
In addition to herbs and nut milk, herbal lattes can be elevated with additional ingredients. Our go-to is honey for added sweetness and health benefits. “Honey contains compounds that deliver antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties,” says Poon. She suggests reaching for high-quality manuka honey as it is the holy grail of honey with potent properties that further benefit health. You can also dress herbal lattes up with functional mushrooms — such as Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga — maca powder, and turmeric.
If you need a place to start, we’re sharing three of our favorite herbal latte recipes featuring chamomile, cacao, and beets, ahead.Print